NEW ORLEANS (AP) — R’Bonney Gabriel, a Texas fashion designer, model and sewing instructor who competition officials say is the first Filipino-American to win Miss USA, has been crowned Miss Universe. Saturday night.

Gabriel closed his eyes and shook hands with Miss Venezuela runner-up Amanda Dudamel at the moment of the dramatic winner’s reveal, then beamed after her name was announced.

Thunderous music played and she was presented with a bouquet of flowers, wrapped in the winner’s sash and crowned with a tiara on stage at the 71st Miss Universe pageant in New Orleans.

The second runner-up was Miss Dominican Republic, Andreina Martínez.

In the question-and-answer session at the last stage of the competition for the three finalists, Gabriel was asked how he would work to show that Miss Universe is «an empowering and progressive organization» if he were to win.

“I would wear it to be a transformational leader,” she responded, citing her work using recycled materials in her fashion design and teaching sewing to survivors of human trafficking and domestic violence.

“It is very important to invest in others, to invest in our community and to use your unique talent to make a difference,” continued Gabriel. «We all have something special, and when we plant those seeds in other people in our lives, we transform them and use them as a vehicle for change.»

According to Miss Universe, Gabriel is a former high school volleyball player and graduated from the University of North Texas. A short biography posted on the organization’s website says that she is also the CEO of her own sustainable clothing line.

About 90 contestants from around the world participated in the competition, organizers said, which involved «personal statements, in-depth interviews and various categories, including evening gowns and swimwear.»

Miss Curacao, Gabriela Dos Santos, and Miss Puerto Rico, Ashley Carino, completed the five finalists.

Last year’s winner was Harnaaz Sandhu from India.